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Old 08-11-2016, 03:44 PM   #1
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Back road travel

Now that I am retired and not in a rush I feel like trying some serious back road travel across the country. Also have to admit I am tired of getting pushed around by trucks, heavy traffic, etc. on the Interstates.

I cannot find any threads dedicated this this subject so I thought I would start one.

Anyone with experience in planning and driving America's back roads please post. Also, any suggestions about web sites, other resources, tips and tricks, stories would be great.

I am planning now for an October trip from Northeast Ohio to Moab Utah.

Thanks
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:54 PM   #2
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That's a long trip! I like to take back roads also. I have noticed a lot of big rigs still on back roads. I like to use Google maps and change the settings to " avoid highways." BUT MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH THE ROUTE. I've had some adventures doing so and found roads not TT friendly. For your trip to Moab you could avoid the 70 all together and come up through Cortez.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:59 PM   #3
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Or via 46 over from Ridgeway CO.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:23 PM   #4
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That's a long trip! I like to take back roads also. I have noticed a lot of big rigs still on back roads. I like to use Google maps and change the settings to " avoid highways." BUT MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH THE ROUTE. I've had some adventures doing so and found roads not TT friendly. For your trip to Moab you could avoid the 70 all together and come up through Cortez.

Went across a big part of Ky last week without the trailer coming back from Alabama and yes, quite a few big rigs but the biggest issue I had was being slowed down on 2 lanes. Probably would not feel as bad if I was towing.

Plan is to stop in Cortez to visit Mesa Verde.

I have a Garmin RV 760 LMT and hope it keeps me out of trouble. I found an online mapping tool to determine the preliminary route then import it into the Garmin so it can alert me to low bridges, etc. Also my TT is only 10'8" tall so not extreme. I was wondering more about low tree limbs, etc. but if I stay off of "Bob's Road" (reference the movie Twister) I should be OK. I think even limited access divided highways will be OK. They do tend to have more trucks than 2 lanes but lower speed limits that Interstates.

I figure a week to get there instead of the 2 1/2 days I took coming back from Moab in April.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:31 PM   #5
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Or via 46 over from Ridgeway CO.

Thanks for the tip. Based on your handle I figure you might be a good person to recommend a camping spot near Moab. We are meeting our son who has a pop up and we have a 25' hybrid. Pretty experienced dry camping and they were die hard backpackers pre-kids but we do appreciate flush johns and showers if possible. Son (lives in SLC) wants to spend a week in the desert in the fall and we just want to spend a week with the new baby😊
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:07 PM   #6
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Back roads through Colorado to Mesa Verde, then Moab? My suggestion would be to get off I-70 at Limon, CO and take US 24 to Colorado Springs--that route avoids the entire Denver metro area. From CO Spgs, take scenic CO 115 to Canon City and US 50 west to the Royal Gorge, Salida, Monarch Pass, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. From Montrose, go south on US 550 to Ridgway, then take CO 62 and CO 145 to Dolores and Mesa Verde NP. From there take US 491 to US 191 to Moab.

For campgrounds, try to get an electric hookup site at Black Canyon NP, an electric site a Ridgway State Park's Elk Ridge campground, and/or an electric site near Telluride at either the Forest Service's Matterhorn or Cayton campground (don't miss Telluride's box canyon and waterfall, if you haven't been there before). Finally, an inexpensive (with a Federal Senior Pass) electric site at the Juniper campground at McPhee Reservoir near Dolores is not only perfect for visiting Mesa Verde, but is right next door to the best Anasazi museum in the nation (IMHO).

Have a great trip!
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:10 PM   #7
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PS: I have also taken back roads in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas to get to and from Colorado. I prefer US 6 to US 34 in Nebraska or to US 36 through Kansas. Hastings and McCook have some interesting tourist attractions.

And the best campground in the entire Moab region is, without a doubt, at Deadhorse Point State Park. Has electric hookups, but no water, so bring your own. You will never forget the view!
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:00 PM   #8
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Ran on several secondary highways this year on the way to San Antonio, TX. this past June, less traffic but a great deal of the drivers on them do not look for traffic and so they will pull right out in front of you or blow thru stop signs.

285 between Carlsbad, NM. and Fort Stockton, TX. is a true suspension test track........

Things we might have bypassed if we drove the freeways, White Sands, Roswell, NM.

I like taking the back way but some of the people on them......
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:05 PM   #9
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PS: I have also taken back roads in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas to get to and from Colorado. I prefer US 6 to US 34 in Nebraska or to US 36 through Kansas. Hastings and McCook have some interesting tourist attractions.

And the best campground in the entire Moab region is, without a doubt, at Deadhorse Point State Park. Has electric hookups, but no water, so bring your own. You will never forget the view!
Thanks for the great detailed suggestions. I will however try to avoid I-70 altogether.

I agree about Deadhorse point- great place. I was there last year but not camping. Will definitely check it out.
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #10
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I do not plan back road trips . We just start driving and if a road looks fun we take it . We drove 65,000 miles in 15 months with 128 on interstates ! This past summer we started north and eventually found Maine , no planning .
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